Special Assignments – Boris Akunin

Woo hoo! Erast Fandorin is back! This book came out earlier this year, but I’ve only just got round to reading it. I really shouldn’t have waited. If you’ve read the earlier Fandorin books, you’ll want to get hold of this one, and if you haven’t, it’s as good a point as any to make a start.

Special Assignments – The Further Adventures of Erast Fandorin contains two very different novelettes. The first is a lighter piece called The Jack of Spades, in which a somewhat older Fandorin acquires a sidekick, and pursues a crafty con man through Moscow. It’s a lot of fun, and involves more disguises, deceptions and trickery than you could shake a metaphorical stick at. Excellent.

However, the second story, The Decorator, is a much darker tale. Brutal murders are being committed in Moscow, murders that bear a dreadful resemblance to the Whitechapel crimes committed in London the previous year. Has Jack the Ripper come to Moscow? Can Fandorin find the killer? Well, I’m not giving too much away if I say, well of course he can, but there will be a price to pay…

As always, highly recommended.